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Explorer George McGavin to host wildlife-themed weekend at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Release date: Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Explorer, entomologist and broadcaster George McGavin is set to host two special events in the State Apartments and The Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Friday, 2 and Saturday, 3 June, to recount tales of his remarkable expeditions and share his passion for the natural world with children and adults alike.

The events are held in support of Maria Merian's Butterflies, the current exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, which tells the story of the pioneering 17th-century artist and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, whose early investigations into the lifecycles of insects in South America continue to inspire scientists more than 300 years later.

On Friday, 2 June, the special evening event 'To the ends of the earth': George McGavin's amazing explorations will see George recounting tales of his journeys to remote habitats, from the tropical forests of Borneo to the savannas of Tanzania.  In the Palace's magnificent Great Gallery, visitors can hear how the explorer overcame challenges that can test people and equipment to breaking point in the hope of finding a greater wealth of wildlife than anywhere else on the planet.  The event includes refreshments and a private view of Maria Merian's Butterflies in The Queen's Gallery.

On Saturday, 3 June, families visiting The Queen's Gallery can explore a host of fun activities during the Maria Merian's Butterflies Family Activity Day.  Children are invited to meet George McGavin and discover fascinating facts about the world of insects.  Adventurous young visitors can even get up close to real-life insect specimens from Central and South America, including the harlequin beetle, tarantula hawk wasp and morpho butterfly.  Children can make their own mechanised flying butterflies during arts and crafts activities with award-winning artist Gemma Coyle, and have a butterfly inspired by Merian's illustrations painted on their faces before exploring the exhibition with an 'Art Spy' family activity bag.

'To the ends of the earth': George McGavin's amazing explorations is at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Friday, 2 June, 19:00–20:30. £12.50 full price, £10.50 concessions, booking essential.

The Maria Merian's Butterflies Family Activity Day is at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse on Saturday, 3 June, 13:00–16:00. All activities are included in the price of an exhibition ticket.